Affirmative Action Destroys Dignity

Here’s a report calling for more affirmative action for black doctors: “A
frican Americans currently make up nearly 13% of the U.S. population but constitute only 4.4% of all U.S. physicians and surgeons, and are therefore considered an underrepresented minority (URM) in
medicine. The proportion of African-American physicians in the United States has changed very little. Despite affirmative action programs instituted by medical schools in the 1960s and 1970s, African Americans comprised only 3.1% of all U.S. physicians in 1980.”

Here’s an essay alleging that the AMA (American Medical Association) historically discriminated against blacks.

And a comment to the essay: “If a person has to choose between a white doctor and a black doctor, it seems to me that it is advisible to choose the white doctor. Why? Because there’s always the chance that the black doctor was “helped” along the way, but is not actually as competent or skillful in his profession as a white doctor. If a black doctor is licensed so that the medical profession can pat itself on its back, the impact is actually pernicious.”

And another comment: While attending a major university in the Midwest during the early 80’s, there were several articles in the local papers about the inordinately high failure rate among black students in the university medical school – supposedly due to “discrimination”.

One reporter uncharacteristically decided to investigate the matter a little deeper, and found that the medical school had been deliberately lowering the academic requirements for blacks for YEARS in order to increase their numbers (while maintaining high standards for whites and other races). When the failure rates of blacks MEETING the higher standards were compared to those for whites and other minorities, it was discovered that there was NO difference in the number of expulsions. Liberal state politicians however, continued to argue that the medical school make-amends by trying to get more blacks to “succeed” (apparently, by passing them through regardless of performance).

I wonder how many of you would like to go to a physician that had been “passed-through” to meet an arbitrary quota? For that matter, how many blacks would like that opportunity?

Gene Expression blogs:

Remember the old Malcolm X quote: Do you know what white racists call black PhDs? (answer: the n-word). In that vein of thought, this Fred Reed column is pretty brutal in its honesty:

What effect does the unmentionable pervasive scorn have on society? One result is the widespread assumption among whites that blacks are incompetent. For example, I won’t let my children (or me) within shouting distance of a black doctor. I don’t care about his color. I know how great the affirmative action is, how great the pressure not to fail blacks. Sorry. I’m not going to take the chance. Nor are a great many people. Black doctors know it.

A friend of mine who recently graduated from medical school would talk about the people who were “characters” in class. Out of 100 students in his year he graduated 3rd in the class, so he wasn’t too shabby, and could look down with a bit of contempt and patronizing noblesse oblige at the guy who applied 6 times to the same school before he was accepted, or the woman with 2 kids and a bitchy ex-husband, or a really asymmetrically built doctor who was at the left end of the bell curve looks-wise. Nevertheless, what struck me was the nickname he and his classmates (his circle were 5 of the people ranked 1-10 in the medical school) gave the one black medical student: Token.

According to the book The Affirmative Action Hoax:

In 1989, black applicants who were admitted to selective colleges scored 350 points lower on the SATs than white admittees did.
In 1996, the University of California at Berkeley Law School accepted every black applicant with an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 and a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score in the 70th percentile but rejected all white and Asian applicants with the same scores.
In 2001, the average SAT score of Hispanics who were admitted to UCLA was lower than the average score of whites who were rejected.
Similarly, for decades the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores of minorities who are admitted to American medical schools have been lower than those of whites who were rejected.
Blacks and Hispanics receive 80 percent of merit scholarships—that is, scholarships supposedly awarded on the basis of talent rather than need—at the University of Michigan, despite the fact that they have much lower test scores and grades than whites and Asians.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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